The 28th NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race takes place Saturday, May 19, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with the winner receiving a $1 million prize. Drivers qualify by winning a race in 2011 or 2012, winning a past All-Star Race, winning a past Sprint Cup Series championship, finishing in the top two in the Sprint Showdown 40-lap preliminary race or by winning the Sprint Fan Vote. New this year, the race is split into four 20-lap segments and a 10-lap sprint to the finish, with pit road strategy playing a bigger role. (NASCAR’s got a handy graphic here that explains the new format.) Carl Edwards (pictured) won the 2011 Sprint All-Star Race.
SPEED has live coverage of the race beginning at 7pm ET.
On Sunday, SPEED will air Inside the Headsets at 9pm ET. The special will provide behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, driver and crew communications and more from Saturday’s All-Star Race.
NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race entries and a pair of press releases from NASCAR below:
2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Entries
Fan Vote Winner
Winner Sprint Showdown
Second Place Sprint Showdown
New NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Format Places Premium On Winning Segments Prior To 10-Lap Shootout
Pit Road Strategy To Be Critical Component;
Fans To Again Vote One Driver Into Field
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 27, 2012) â The 28th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will provide some additional incentive for drivers to win one of the four segments heading into the final 10-lap shootout, as the emphasis on winning and pit road strategy have never been more prevalent in this special night of NASCAR star-studded competition. Through the annual Sprint Fan Vote, under way now, fans can again cast ballots for their favorite eligible driver. The driver receiving the highest number of votes will earn a spot in the field.
The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race set for Saturday, May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (SPEED, 7 p.m.), will consist of four 20-lap segments, concluding with a 10-lap sprint and a $1 million payout to the race winner. This yearâs format will place a higher premium for drivers who win one of the four segments, however, as the winners of the first four segments will move to the front of the field and line up 1-4 prior to the field coming to pit road for the final mandatory pit stop.
When the drivers come down pit road, crew chiefs will have to decide on their best pit strategy, as multiple scenarios will unfold. The team that makes the best call, combined with the optimum performance on pit road, is likely to be in the driverâs seat for the final 10 laps of competition. Wherever the drivers are positioned as they come off pit road after that pit stop is where they will line up to start the final 10-lap segment.
“This new addition to the format is going to provide even greater incentive for the drivers to go all out to win one of the four segments,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “It also puts even more focus on the pit crews and how they perform during that final pit stop. The team aspect of the sport will be highlighted more than ever and it helps set the stage for an exciting race and an exciting evening for the fans.”
The eligibility standards for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race remain the same: race winners from either the 2011 or 2012 season through May 12 or any past champions of the all-star event or NASCAR Sprint Cup Series over the previous 10 years are eligible for the race. In addition, the top-two finishers in the Sprint Showdown, a 40-lap preliminary race scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, all advance into the all-star race lineup.
Fans can vote by using the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile Androidâ˘ application on their Sprint phone, or by texting “VOTE” to 229466 on any wireless carrier (standard text messaging and data rates apply). Voting is also open at NASCAR.com/AllStar or by visiting the Sprint Experience, located in the midway at all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Voting will continue until 5 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 19. As an added customer benefit, votes submitted from a Sprint, Boost, Nextel or Virgin Mobile device count double toward an individual driverâs total.
Individual tickets for the May 19 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Blake Shelton pre-race concert presented by Target are on sale now starting at just $39. Fans can also purchase an All-Star Four-Pack for just $99. Tickets can be obtained online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling Charlotte Motor Speedway at 1-800-455-FANS.
The eighth annual NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge returns to kick off the all-star weekâs competition, Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m. at the Time Warner Cable Arena. The eventâs finishing order determines pit selection for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The No. 11 FedEx Toyota team is the defending Pit Crew Challenge champion. Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling the Charlotte Bobcats ticket office at 800-745-3000.
Drivers currently eligible for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (as of March 27) include: Marcos Ambrose, Trevor Bayne, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Regan Smith and Tony Stewart.
NASCAR Media Groupâs EmmyÂŽ Award-Winning Inside The Headsets To Air On SPEED With All-New 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Edition
NASCAR Media Groupâs EmmyÂŽ Award-Winning Inside The Headsets To Air
On SPEED With All-New 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Edition
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 17, 2012) â Inside the Headsets, the Emmy Award-winning show produced by NASCAR Media Group, will air on SPEED on Sunday, May 20 at 9 p.m. ET, the night after the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The show will capture all the action of the race, which airs live on SPEED on Saturday, May 19 beginning at 7 p.m. ET from Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Inside the Headsets captures a wide array of all the action from the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, including exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, in-car communication, crew chief sound and exclusive interviews through the use of 12 additional cameras supplementing the race broadcast.
The program will air less than 24 hours following the conclusion of the race, just as it has in previous seasons. Last month, NASCAR Media Group won a Sports Emmy in the âOutstanding Live Event Turnaroundâ category, the second in three years and fourth in the last six years, for their work on the 2011 edition.
âEvery year the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is one of the most exciting races of the season due to the âno holds barredâ approach taken by the top drivers in the sport,â said NASCAR Media Group COO Jay Abraham. âInside the Headsets gives fans the opportunity to immediately relive the intense action of the night before and go behind the scenes to see how the drama unfolded from start to finish.â
Photo: Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR